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DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023

Stilly River Sage 04 Feb 23 - 09:14 PM
Dorothy Parshall 04 Feb 23 - 07:52 PM
Charmion 03 Feb 23 - 11:41 AM
Stilly River Sage 03 Feb 23 - 10:19 AM
Charmion 03 Feb 23 - 08:55 AM
Charmion 02 Feb 23 - 09:40 PM
Dorothy Parshall 02 Feb 23 - 08:46 PM
Charmion 02 Feb 23 - 08:37 PM
Stilly River Sage 02 Feb 23 - 10:55 AM
Charmion 01 Feb 23 - 04:56 PM
Stilly River Sage 01 Feb 23 - 01:46 PM
Stilly River Sage 30 Jan 23 - 03:51 PM
Stilly River Sage 29 Jan 23 - 11:12 PM
Charmion 29 Jan 23 - 08:22 PM
Stilly River Sage 29 Jan 23 - 01:50 PM
Dorothy Parshall 29 Jan 23 - 12:42 PM
Donuel 29 Jan 23 - 11:27 AM
Stilly River Sage 29 Jan 23 - 09:53 AM
Stilly River Sage 28 Jan 23 - 09:37 PM
Stilly River Sage 27 Jan 23 - 02:36 PM
Stilly River Sage 26 Jan 23 - 02:53 PM
Dorothy Parshall 26 Jan 23 - 01:58 PM
Stilly River Sage 26 Jan 23 - 11:59 AM
Sandra in Sydney 25 Jan 23 - 08:58 PM
Stilly River Sage 25 Jan 23 - 03:43 PM
Dorothy Parshall 24 Jan 23 - 06:32 PM
Charmion 24 Jan 23 - 02:14 PM
Senoufou 24 Jan 23 - 02:16 AM
Stilly River Sage 23 Jan 23 - 11:13 PM
Dorothy Parshall 23 Jan 23 - 10:21 PM
Stilly River Sage 23 Jan 23 - 11:15 AM
Charmion 23 Jan 23 - 10:26 AM
Charmion 23 Jan 23 - 10:12 AM
Stilly River Sage 22 Jan 23 - 10:58 PM
Charmion 22 Jan 23 - 10:05 PM
Stilly River Sage 22 Jan 23 - 09:06 PM
keberoxu 22 Jan 23 - 06:29 PM
Stilly River Sage 22 Jan 23 - 10:00 AM
Senoufou 21 Jan 23 - 03:12 AM
Stilly River Sage 20 Jan 23 - 10:18 PM
Dorothy Parshall 20 Jan 23 - 06:25 PM
Charmion 20 Jan 23 - 05:23 PM
Stilly River Sage 20 Jan 23 - 03:20 PM
Stilly River Sage 19 Jan 23 - 05:54 PM
Donuel 19 Jan 23 - 04:52 PM
Stilly River Sage 19 Jan 23 - 03:14 PM
Stilly River Sage 18 Jan 23 - 08:59 PM
Stilly River Sage 18 Jan 23 - 05:33 PM
Charmion 18 Jan 23 - 04:28 PM
Steve Shaw 18 Jan 23 - 01:47 PM
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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 04 Feb 23 - 09:14 PM

My ex was over for lunch today and I sent him home with some of my ripe bananas and a loaf of whole wheat bread from the freezer. It seems that during our icy spell none of the delivery trucks made it to the grocery stores, and they haven't caught up yet. When he stopped at Aldi today they were out of many perishable items. The Highway Dept. ran advice over the news to not head out today if you could avoid it because there is still ice (shaded spots on highway bridges, roads, and overpasses). I poured boiling water on the slip-and-slide shaded path yesterday while it was above freezing to clear out that ice.

I'd like to get the the gym again tomorrow, my knees are stiff when I don't do the extended walking or pedaling several times a week. I've started using the treadmill longer and at more of an incline. There was a thing on the news about a popular Tik Tok video about a "5-3-30 workout," interesting that it seems to be what I've worked out for myself. It means setting the incline at 5.0, walking at the rate of 3 miles per hour, and doing it for 30 minutes. This has been my practice because I tend to like to walk that fast and I split my gym time between the treadmill and the recumbent bike, adding up to at least an hour.

I know what you mean about the cold, Dorothy. Even though the temperature is set at about 70, there are cold patches all through the house and near the windows, so you're always reminded of the cold. Plus after the 4 days with no power in 2021, we're still aware of how vulnerable people can be when the lights go out. I've had a lot of green tea during the cold weather since it doesn't seem to have the same caffeine impact on me like black tea.

There isn't a gas line to this house, only electric, and I'm sure my eyes will water at the bill that arrives after this cold spell. And the water bill, because not only did I leave water dripping in two sinks over four days, I stepped away from a slow job of filling the dogs' water bucket and accidentally left the water running in the kitchen. It ran over the edge and down the drain for at least an hour. The equivalent of what - a bath or shower every day for a week?

It hasn't been a particularly productive week, mostly small tasks. I am continuing the wiring of data ports and did some sewing. Many other "must do" chores languish.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 04 Feb 23 - 07:52 PM

Dupont:

Where I have barely moved in two days. R has not come home, only partly because the bridge is unsafe - black ice! I keep the fire going, hunker in my chair with a mohair throw, make another cup of tea and a bite to eat - not very healthy bites - Sheer inertia as I feel the cold trying to get in. I am sure it would not feel so terrible if I were at Beaver - where it may be colder but the wood stove is bigger and the house much smaller. The good news is the furnace keeps working! The bad "news" is that the water will probably be frozen - under the house - when I get back to Beaver. That only means fetching buckets of snow from the back deck to melt on the wood stove. And waiting for spring to thaw the pipes under the house. I do remember it being close to minus 40 for stretches when I lived at the farm - I was 15 years younger. Tomorrow will be about freezing or one degree above. It will feel like summer!

I doubt we shall ever be able to make a trip to Stratford! I am afraid my bro may not be with us much longer (cancer) and that will require a trip to PA, not because it would matter to him but my SIL would be devastated if I did not. And a trip to Whidbey, in May?, to see Troy and Julie's new home is essential-- and exhausting. I am finding 86 very difficult and hope spring will renew my energy...

I am keeping the plants alive, mostly, and take delight in a vigorous sweet potato plant rescued from outdoors, and a lovely yellow bloom on the Canna which ended up in a plastic bag and saucer in the hallway - full sun through glass door when it deigns to shine.

This 1902 house seriously needs new windows... The breezes!!!

I am enduring...


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Charmion
Date: 03 Feb 23 - 11:41 AM

The builder's contract arrived by email about an hour ago. I shall sign it forthwith, and write the somewhat gag-inducing cheque for the deposit. Then they will book the work.

Cold weather and what it means in everyday life is top of mind for most Canadians at least four months of the year -- so important that, instead of "Have a nice day", some people say "Keep warm!"

The gas bill came in yesterday at twice what I paid in December. It ain't the weather; January was weirdly mild. I don't track fuel prices; natural gas isn't something I can shop around for, and it's not exactly discretionary spending in the dead of an Ontario winter. Lowering the temperature in the house, currently set at 20 degrees Celsius, would just result in protracted misery and numb fingers. So I embrace the suck, as the soldiers say, and thank my lucky stars for woollen socks and a decent pension.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 03 Feb 23 - 10:19 AM

I want to read about that visit, and the drive to get there! Dorothy had better wait until the mold in the loo has been dispatched, so you both can breathe easier while you're disturbing the dust on those books.

According to Weather.com some of you in Canada and the US NE are going to be about 40o below average tonight and tomorrow. Stay warm! Down here will rise above freezing finally, but I've cancelled lunch with friends tomorrow because everyone will be playing catch-up after a week stuck in the house. My street is still a crunchy sheet of ice. (This weather is one reason I built the stone wall in front of the berm I piled in my front yard - to keep cars from slithering through the stop sign, jumping the curb and hitting the house.)

Tonight I'll make my recipe for Hirino Me Melitzanes (pork with eggplant) using a thawed pork loin, canned homegrown tomatoes, and eggplant from the garden that I sauteed before freezing to use in this particular recipe. It's served with mashed potatoes—good thing, since I bought a 10-pound bag of potatoes recently. Buying potatoes cheap only stays cheap if you can use them all. Leftovers for me for a couple of days and I'll take plates to a couple of neighbors.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Charmion
Date: 03 Feb 23 - 08:55 AM

Colder today than we’ve seen all winter — forecast high of -14°C and we’ve a ways to go to reach that. So the ensemble du jour must include earmuffs, lined jeans and woollen socks as well as the sheepskin coat and the serious mittens.

The builder’s quote on the mouldy bathroom came in yesterday. When I regained consciousness, I realized that, yes, I can afford it. What’s more, I must afford it — the house would not sell well with a mould infestation. Not that I’m at all eager to sell! But the house is my most important asset, and youse all know the rest of that thought.

I’m such a bourgeoise.

And I think I’ve finished sorting the books. When they’re gone, I will be able to unload five — count ‘em, five! — six-shelf bookcases.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Charmion
Date: 02 Feb 23 - 09:40 PM

Canada Post works, Dorothy. Or you and R could make a road trip and come visit — with a car boot full of boxes.

No kidding. PM me.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 02 Feb 23 - 08:46 PM

Dupont:

Hunkered down for the cold snap; fire in the wood stove; thankful for the heater working! Turned up the baseboard heat in the hallway between den and Bath so the den stays warmer. The rest of the house is comfortable -so far; I don't need it too warm.R likes the den warm when he gets home and I had let it go out for a few days as we are running out of wood. Hard to replenish the supply when the available wood to purchase is under a foot of snow! and we can no longer get to the back yard and shall have to pile it in front and ... I did find a FB group for this area where people ask who does this or that and a fellow who does snow removal put his phone number - maybe if we can get some wood, he can help move it for me; that has been a concern.

I brought in most of what is left today enough for a few days. I have the idea that the brick chimney and fireplace collect a great deal of heat and radiate it. The BR above the den has a warm wall as a result. A bit like a Kachelofen.

R is busy trying to freeze proof buildings - could have been done in September? ... We might not make the music tomorrow night but I can still go the the Farmer's Market on Sunday - without him if need be! If the roads are OK. Tonight is predicted to go to -25C (about -6F?) And windy! White outs reported in Central Ontario and wind predicted for here tonight.

There is a possibility!!!! that the son of one of R's best friends may want to buy the city house!!!!! And the son of my friend Hannah may want some bowls so I photographed what I have and sent pics to her. Also suggested she could give him some of the zillion she has - a 40 year collection! So I have thrown more - only two a day, and not every day, to be sure I stay mobile!

Charmion: R would love some of those books; too bad you are far away. And I think of our friend who owns The Word bookstore in Montreal... An article in the McGill news about Adrian recently. But you seem to have pretty good handle on how to dispose of them.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Charmion
Date: 02 Feb 23 - 08:37 PM

I’m making progress on the library project.

What really strikes me is how much my interests have changed over the ten years since I quit my civil service job. Nowadays, I’m not willing to give houseroom to detailed official military histories of the first and second world wars. Neither do I wish to keep shelf-feet of military memoirs and accounts of derring-do.

Edmund accumulated books to an extraordinary degree. What strikes me now is how important it was to him to collect and keep books about the official British view of, especially, the Second World War, but also the expansion and eventual collapse of the British empire. Okay, I’m good with shedding those volumes.

I guess I’m still engaged in the painful business of extracting myself from my 25-year relationship with Edmund. Sorting the books is like having an extended debate with him about everything we were both brought up to hold dear.

It’s a good thing I’m not doing this on deadline.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 02 Feb 23 - 10:55 AM

There has been some virtual decluttering this week; the expansion drive inside the new Dell was in the red zone, and I realized I had a duplicate set of video files there that was also on an external drive, so removed that. Those take a lot of space. And the same on the old HP where I have the newer software but not connected to the Internet - lots of duplicates to remove. Meanwhile, I took some not-so-great photos of the silver thaw around here today - documenting it. I didn't spend long out there and I should have used the flash more, but what I have now is fine.

The yard is a slick icy crust and it requires very slow walking. I am hoping this melts quickly today, though the resulting mud will be intense. (What is it about the viscosity of the mud after a freeze? There must be a scientific term, it isn't just anecdotal.) That mud will be tracked through the den and into the far corners of the house in the next few days. My hypothesis is that the particles align to become stickier.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Charmion
Date: 01 Feb 23 - 04:56 PM

Cold and sunny in Stratford.

I'm sorting the library, and it's taking longer than I expected -- not because I can't decide what to let go, but because my first cut hardly filled a single six-shelf Billy bookcase. I know I would regret it if I were to dump the lot, so I have to resist the nihilistic urge and go through the process more thoughtfully.

There's a lot of specialized military history on those shelves, and that I definitely don't want to keep. But what about the books about Victorian tourism, the development of rugby, the spread of Calvinism in France, and the foreign policy decisions that got Britain into the Seven Years' War? Right now, I still have the attention span of a cat and congratulate myself when I finish one of the New Yorker's longer articles, but surely that won't last. In another year, or maybe two, things will be different and I'll be ready for a biography of William the Marshall or "The Age of Scandal" by T.H. White.

Nobody's pushing me to sell up and move so down-sizing isn't a priority, but I confess that I'll be relieved to have fewer books to dust.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 01 Feb 23 - 01:46 PM

I've just taken the coaxial cable faceplate off of the bedroom wall only to find that there is no junction box there, just a nickel-sized hole for the cable to pass through. I happen to have one of the J-boxes they make for this situation - I must cut the precise hole for the box, slide it in, and there are small wings on the top and the bottom that swing out from the box and tighten against the sheet rock. An electrical engineer friend taught me how to run cables and do the J-box.

This will be a data port, and there is a similar cover on the other side of the room for an ancient phone line. On either or both I could also run coaxial for a TV antenna or future cable account (this is the "after I sell the house" kind of account). All of this has me thinking about if it is time to rearrange the room, since I do that every so often. Whatever new arrangement, it will still include the fitness space. Meanwhile, as cold as it is right now, I'm not going to climb into the attic to pull the lines, I'll just update the outlets in the room.

I have devices charging, including the backup battery I keep in my purse for the phone or tablet. There is more ice coming this way and the fear seems to be it will take down branches and power lines.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 30 Jan 23 - 03:51 PM

Not just "Stock Show" weather, but a full-fledged winter storm coming over the top of us. Fingers crossed the power stays on—I am better prepared than in February 2021 after those 4 sub-zero days with no power, but I wouldn't look forward to it.

This is "Soup stock" weather. Turkey stock is defrosting, carrots are roasting. Looking for healthy foods for this next few days when I don't plan to go out to volunteer or for other appointments. There are too many tall freeway bridges between here and most places I drive and the surface route would take three times as long.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 29 Jan 23 - 11:12 PM

The two younger dogs here do that periodic power struggle or fighting also, usually the bigger one drawing blood and the smaller one usually starting it. It illustrates the adage of they can't live with each other and can't live without each other.

Fort Worth is famous for its nearly month-long stock show and rodeo that starts mid-January. And it's also famous for "stock show weather." This week we're entering that phase of cold wet and possibly icy weather to make the folks walking between the livestock barns at the convention center miserable. (I have been the the stock show exactly one time, when my kids were small, in over 30 years of living here.) The weather means I have a harder time motivating myself to go to the gym to dress in lighter workout clothes to exercise, but I did it today and survived. Between their keeping the gym warm enough and my starting a new activity (using the incline on the treadmill) I worked up a sweat. I still haven't gotten out a swimsuit to start swimming laps yet. The pool is usually around 82o, I should be able to manage that. :)


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Charmion
Date: 29 Jan 23 - 08:22 PM

I’ve been hunkered down at home since noon Friday, avoiding people and frowsting. I should have gone to church this morning but didn’t; instead, I read the New York Times and dealt with the aftermath of a major cat-fight.

I have no idea what set them off this time. The first bout erupted around 0400 hours with lots of screeching, swatting and slamming about, and they kept it up episodically all day. One of them — can’t tell yet which — suffered an injury and bled on the parlour floor, and by the time I came downstairs there were bloody smears and paw-prints all over the place.

Hmmm. Come to think if it, of course I didn’t go to church. When the rest of the choir was getting stuck into the introit hymn, I was down on my marrowbones wiping drops of gore off the dining room wall to the accompaniment of feline growls. The kitchen, hall, dining room and sitting room all needed floors scrubbed,

After a day of Mexican stand-offs, I’m watching telly with Isobel curled up on my lap and Watson has retreated to the bedroom. With any luck, tomorrow they will have forgotten their tiff and I’ll come home from pool class to find them intertwined in the comfy chair.

Silver lining in the cloud? The kitchen floor is cleaner than it’s been in weeks, and I even raked the crud out from under the stove.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 29 Jan 23 - 01:50 PM

Dorothy, ILL (Interlibrary Loan) is a standard offering from libraries, they probably subscribe to a system in order to do it. I think you should accept the offer to get your books locally, and support that service.

I've read some of Dr. Amen's stuff; he's very popular and I don't know how reliable on all subjects. I'll look at the book I have here to see what he says.

There are online tests - very sketchy - that probably catch the most pronounced cases. They don't necessarily snag the three main features of inattentive, hyperactive, and impulsive, or any combination of the three. As one would expect, there are different aspects of this to consider. Time management, interruptions, unfinished projects, wasted workdays, distractions, and more fuel the kinds of questions that might get to the heart of the matter more quickly. But everyone does those things, so it's a matter of intensity. And it seems that the medications give the brain the stimulation that it is seeking with all of the revolving search for stimuli.

Heading out for a while, and one thing I plan to do today is stop by one of the little restaurants along the busy street that runs into my part of town. It had lines around the block to their drive-thru during COVID and is still popular. I've looked up the menu. It's a Mexican taco place, more takeout than inside seating (because it's small) and I'll pick it up on my way back home. I live near all of these really interesting little places but there's only one I go to with any regularity. I suppose you could call this a New Year's resolution, to try some of these places. I've planned it for ages, now I need to do it.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 29 Jan 23 - 12:42 PM

Dupont:

SRS: our steps only have a rail on one side and rubber mats start at that side, the end of each a clear line - "stop here!" But cleaning around the log that keeps the door from swinging too far, the pot of plants that are just sitting there until I get around to deciding where to move them... 3 feet of clear steps with rubber mats is quite sufficient... I am concerned.

The "burger" concoction was declared "no taste at all"; I could have improved them with onions, herbs, something! My heart was not in it. I think "burgers" are not necessary to our diet! The texture is fine.

WE spent yesterday aft at the local library again, a pleasant place and I watched the sun go down, a treat - there was sun! And I got to see it set. That library has no more books by the author I was seeking. The super nice staff person offered to order something for me but I prefer not to put them to the trouble. I just checked the times for the library in southern QC that I used a lot when we were down there. It had an amazing collection of books. Strictly volunteer run and with the municipalities paying all their other expenses, they must focus on books! And I do go that way at times - Plan! Planning to make life in QC more palatable. Maybe if I have some fun, I can get a few projects moved on out of the sewing room. Nothing beats an improved state of mind?

So pots trimmed from the 8 bowls that wrecked my back. And then I threw 2 more - just 2! Maybe I can get some strength into my back if I don't overdo it! Just a little bit at a time.

SRS: ADHD never occurred to me. Now I am wondering where are the excellent books I had on the subject when I was working... Daniel Amen did incredible work on ADHD. Did I give them away? Quite possibly! Oops!


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Donuel
Date: 29 Jan 23 - 11:27 AM

Having always been impulsive I see the timeless zone of hyperfocus as the joy of creating and distraction as a rest from it all. Getting set up for hyperfocus has more procrastination than I like but I don't have work or the ambition to work at great sacrifice of money. I'm like a playful otter compared to the hard working ant. Coping with migrain pain sapped most of my time in the past but now its just non stop time with the typical age pain de jours before the great grand pause. Yep I enjoy being lazy. Its good that I can reach deep sleep in a short time. Many small sleeps keeps me in touch with my unconscious self and dream states.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 29 Jan 23 - 09:53 AM

Well, darn! After a warm day yesterday then next six days are forecast to be a lot colder, freezing overnight, and rain much of the week. The yard needs it but I won't be out in it digging new garden beds. Instead, the weeds will grow, unmolested.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 28 Jan 23 - 09:37 PM

Some weeks ago I described helping my ex move an incredibly heavy latex queen-sized mattress out of his guest room and into the SUV, in order to drive it to the dump. He had three of these, and one of them ended up here. It is so heavy that in order to move the mattress position I have to rotate the entire bed frame (the classic and inexpensive angle-iron frame on wheels that holds the box spring and mattress.) It took some doing, but this evening before changing the sheets I moved stuff out of the way and turned the bed so the foot is now at the top and I'll sleep on the side that doesn't have a depression. This maneuver also gave access to some dust puppies under the bed. I'll wait till I have help before I try to flip it over months from now when another change is due.

Tomorrow I have plans to do some digging of gardens in the front yard, more of a full-body workout than I've been getting lately. And celebrating having finished the 3x a day cat-sitting. I've been to the gym several times this week because I was so close when I was at her house; there will be one more trip tomorrow or Monday since she forgot to leave the usual cash; I'll pick that up then head over for a workout. (Because of the knees, for ages I just used the recumbent bike, but I've started using the treadmill also - walking is a weight bearing exercise good for your bones. The digging will give the upper body more exercise.)


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 27 Jan 23 - 02:36 PM

When I don't recognize calls coming in I don't answer them. Today after waiting for a return call for an appointment and instead getting a woman huckster asking me to sell her the house at my ex-husband's address, I changed my message. It usually just gives my number and says to leave a message but I changed it slightly. Now I state that if I don't recognize their number I don't answer so they have to leave a message. So even the calls I'm waiting for will have to go through my voicemail and we'll play phone tag. So. Much. Spam.

A friend had a particularly bad COPD attack this week, and though he literally lives next door to a hospital ER, when he asked the doorman to help him walk the half-block, the doorman wisely declined and called an ambulance. It might seem silly for such a short distance, but it wasn't worth his job, considering the liability issues with that request. That said, the story of the stay in the ER and then overnight at the hospital was priceless. I bet he spent his whole time there taking notes in order to write the report he emailed to friends today. My knee surgeries have never been particularly interesting (can you hype an account of a really dry grilled cheese sandwich into a comedy routine? I think not.)

Even for retired people the looming weekend is welcome. For some reason, the days feel different. Have a good one, everyone!


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 26 Jan 23 - 02:53 PM

Dorothy, I am just learning about how focus, hyperfocus, distraction, and impulsive behavior dove-tail together. Everyone has these things, it's just that for some people it's an everyday minefield of trying to stay on task, etc. (I tend to climb one side or the other of the stairs and use a rail, maybe that was a factor on the snow-blowing?)

I think the best way to describe this process is the analogy of the fish that doesn't see the water it swims in. Once you can see the water (the behaviors and the coping mechanisms) then you can't unsee it and it's time to look into how to address the issues present.

You'll have to let us know about your beets and black beans dish results. I can't say it sounds like an appealing combination, but I like both of them on their own.

There are a lot of music venues over in Dallas, but I hate driving in Dallas so I never go to music over there. I fear pretty much everything else around here is rock or country. I'm glad you're able to get out to music events in the provincial areas you visit.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 26 Jan 23 - 01:58 PM

Dupont:

A lot of snow blankets us this am. R went out to clear the car- at least his - and found that noise I heard in the wee hours was the neighbour's snow blower - his large parking area and our very small one!

R cleared part of the front steps - including totally unnecessary places. I wonder if ADHD includes this - to me - highly annoying bit. I am all for efficiency, doing what is needed. From the bottom of the steps, one must, then, wallow through about a foot of snow to the cars - but the edges of the steps - where no one ever need walk - are clear!

As a result of this and something SRS said, I went googling and found Frank and Lillian Gilbreth - oft cited by my father when things needed to be done efficiently - as did everything!

"What is Lillian Moller Gilbreth most known for?
"Gilbreth became a pioneer in what is now known as industrial and organizational psychology. She helped industrial engineers recognize the importance of the psychological dimensions of work. In addition, she became the first American engineer ever to create a synthesis of psychology and scientific management."

Time and motion studies amongst others.

She is worth a look see. It was their theories that impressed my dad and their dedication to efficiency which makes me hard to live with! "A place for everything and everything in its place" was oft heard. Father never acquired more than could fit that motto. I have, and, hence...

Every once in a while, largely thanks to this thread, I remember to attempt to clear more of the decks, organize a bit better - though my organized kitchen is sacrosanct; easy for anyone to find things ... if THEY put it back in its place!

I add almond flour (2gm protein per tablespoon) to my porridge (one cup oat flakes) as well as a handful of dried cranberries (organic, sweetened with apple or orange juice - I forget), a diced apple and a couple T of ground flax seed. This has been very helpful; leftover is good for BF or lunch or snacks for me. I also add almond flour and flax to my buckwheat pancakes. One batch is good for BF for both of us and planned-overs for me whenever. They also include a couple cups of frozen fruit (could be fresh in season) per batch (1 c flour...).

I got so into looking at odds and sods on line, I forgot this post!

Maybe today I will make beet/black bean "burgers" from a simple recipe I found. The beets and beans are ready, just process and cook in oven - think I'll use the toaster oven. But it is cold enough out to justify the large one - if I add in a couple squash!

Did grocery run yesterday "before the storm". The snowflakes were just arriving as I was getting into car from last stop!

Recognizing that I might be spending more time here, I knuckle under to the need to make it more palatable. Now that Covid is less of a monster, though still needing attention, I am looking at finding people to invite -- when the weather is conducive!! Talked with a friend a couple days ago and he is game to come out from Montreal in good weather - with family. We could have a pot luck out back; I have chairs and tables...

A post on FB about the paucity of front porches triggered: No front porch on this 1902 house but I could put some chairs out under the trees in the front yard - from thrift shops! and read out there. People walk dogs and just themselves even in this weather, of course. But if I were handy, someone might stop to chat.

In addition, our trip a couple weeks ago to southern Quebec taught me that our friends down there are actually delighted to have us drop in! And they are a total delight to visit. We are grandparent age for them! And there are a few others down there whom we met through music that I can connect with, even if R is "too busy". We even risked our lives attending a CD launch at Jim's - a terrific, and unique, venue. There will be more... I may be a hermit but total isolation does not work! I shall be watching the weather for a trip to Beaver in mid Feb.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 26 Jan 23 - 11:59 AM

My endeavor to continue eating down the over-stocked supplies in the pantry and freezer has progressed. When shopping yesterday I picked up fresh produce and some dairy but managed to stay away from prepared foods (I don't buy too many of those anyway) and frozen meat, etc. There are plenty of protein sources around here to last for ages.

I'm eating more protein for breakfast, on the recommendation of a counselor who advises "brain food" in the morning. Not that it is just protein, but that there is a good portion along with whatever fruit or vegetable I'm also having. Unless it was something like ham and eggs, I never usually ate protein for breakfast. Now I'm trying to avoid breads at breakfast, though I'll include oatmeal or raisin bran as long as it's on the side. It isn't easy, developing new habits, and right now I'm in the evaluation stage, to see if it is worth the trouble.

It's sunny and cold here, no need for a blower to move the errant sunbeams off of the driveway before leaving the house. I hope everyone else is comfortable and has good access to places they need to go.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 25 Jan 23 - 08:58 PM

The one change that didn’t work: I decluttered my house – then began buying back my belongings

I've always been suspicious of Marie Kondo even tho I love Japanese design & art & crafts. One collection I've successfully downsized was my Japanese dolls collection (approx. 6 shelves) - I helped a younger collector stagger out with 10 Green bags full of dolls & decorative items. All I kept were 2 modern Japanese teenage dolls I dressed in kimono - Jenny in white religious ceremony kimono ($205 for the used book, OMG!!!! maybe I should sell my copy, or did I give it away?) she also has a gold with red lining wedding kimono displayed on a hanger. Traditional Japanese brides wear their (family) red/gold kimono for the rest of the festivities.

Green bags? they are reusable grocery bags made from recycled plastics & themselves are recyclable when no longer needed or useful, for those who don't know them under that name. Not all of them are dyed green, but most are!

One collection down, a zillion others to go ...


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 25 Jan 23 - 03:43 PM

Spectrum (Internet/cable) messaged me that there was something that needed fixing on my line and needed to come check it out so I went ahead and set up the appointment; I'm not playing blazing-fast online games so I would never have noticed. What I did notice was that the appointment for 10am stretched out and out and out and at 1pm I had to tell him that I had things to do and they needed to wrap it up and if something else needed working on, we'll do it on a day when I don't have errands and a deadline looming. And it took another hour to get it over with. Four hours pretty much blew my plans for the day out of the water.

I'm onto plan B, no gym today but a shorter trip to the discount grocery, and since I couldn't be online during that time I picked up around here, puttered, and made a batch of dinner rolls. A friend will be over shortly to go along.

Dorothy, your observations about R and his methods of operating aren't a surprise; I'm gaining new insight as I move closer to getting tested and a possible diagnosis that has been a long time coming. The level of disorganization you describe is worse than here or what I've seen in most instances, but now that a family member is getting treatment for ADHD and is feeling relieved, a die has been cast, and think a couple more of us need to follow that example. It's time for me to attend to the level of distraction and impulsiveness that make it more work to get anything done (at work or hobby-wise.)


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 24 Jan 23 - 06:32 PM

Dupont:

I doubt the snow blower will get repaired in the near future. We shall just keep muddling along. R manages to hae too much on his plate ALL the time and when I think/hope he is staying home to "get something done" - what gets done is another book read or hours - literally - spent looking at news on his phone. Sometimes there are even work-related emails or texts.... His library downstairs is "fine" and I hear he is getting a workshop together... I don't go to the cellar(workshop) or the basement (library) due to air quality. The snow blower is too large to bring in the house and he does not do well with the cold. He has had at least 3 summers ... There is also a brand new generator that needs ???? and ... Oh Well. If I can only help him maintain a semblance of getting the absolute essentials done. Time goes by and Well, the taxes got paid a few days before they sold the house for unpaid taxes... Yeah, all this is hard to deal with so I just keep reading books and, come to think of it, he just keeps reading books... But I am not letting anyone down. Some days, it is scary.

But I have an out: Beaver and enough money to live there alone if it comes to that. I would have failed to be the support person I had hoped to be. The job seems to be beyond my ability. There! I have said it. We will just keep muddling... I will keep my nose above water and hope he does also.

A storm is coming; I need more green tea!

Also, I want Charmion to know that Canada Mortgage and Housing (CMHC) has considerable info on healthy houses, building supplies, etc. Our friend Oliver Drerup built the first low-cost healthy house complex, near Ottawa and then lectured on the subject internationally. It all started when a family convinced him (a tough job!) that their brand new dream home was making them sick. He built them a healthy house... and went on from there. He should be retired now (maybe) but there are books on the subject and the website was comprehensive last time I looked.

This morning was spent writing an email to a friend re the traumas that can mess up our lives, starting in utero. I have spent a good chunk of every day for several weeks, contemplating this and considering how to approach a subject that is clearly unresolved for him. For most of my life I have wished for a way to send my thoughts through the ether, so to speak. We do hear of people having this kind of connection at times. Anyway, the primary message has been sent. I would be more comfortable face to face in a peaceful environment.

That, I hope, is the most important thing I have done in these weeks. Never mind the particulars of everyday life. Now to continue to trying to figure out how to get a stubborn Scot to recognize how he is shooting himself in the foot - daily. This could be one of the most important things I do with my life - or the biggest failure.

My #2 son has still not called re my birthday - almost two weeks ago. And my bro's cancer is turning nasty. But there is food cooked and teh sink is not full of soiled dishes, the sheets are clean and the house is looking good enough if anyone should happen to visit....

Visit??? What's that? Phoned a friend today and got her dear husband and we talked about visiting in the summer! And I have a great idea for warmer weather - to put a few chairs under the trees in the front yard and sit out there to read so I can talk to people out walking their dogs or just walking by. No front porch! But I will fake one. I suppose I shall have to tack the chairs down but that is possible. I will watch for folding chairs at the thrift shops.

Lots of snow on its way. I need to go back to the library in the am! We spent Sunday aft there but 3 of 5 of the books I brought home were already read! I will re-read the James Lee Burke just for his beautiful way of writing.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Charmion
Date: 24 Jan 23 - 02:14 PM

My Mennonite friends came by this morning for some tunes. It snowed last night, at last. The world is all tattered and torn, but the sun is shining in Stratford and I feel fine.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Senoufou
Date: 24 Jan 23 - 02:16 AM

Our village hall is now asking for jigsaws and bookshelves, to add to their collection of unwanted books people have donated. I think this is a very good idea, as they offer a 'warm spot' for villagers to sit and chat while keeping warm. I might sort out some more unwanted books to take down there.
Husband has settled in once more, and our bungalow is rather full of 'stuff', but I'm very happy and can't complain. He's filled all our kitchen cupboards with bowls, dishes, cutlery, pots and pans which he's brought over from his flat. His bedroom is crammed with mountains of clothes and trainers. However, he got a ladder and put all his suitcases in the loft. He brought over a super little vacuum cleaner which is very easy to handle, so I hoovered every inch of our home yesterday while he was at work.
He's also made a collection of many of his unwanted clothes to take over to Ivory Coast next summer for all his family to have. They'll be fighting over them all!


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 23 Jan 23 - 11:13 PM

Dorothy, we may also get snow tomorrow, but no accumulation. I hope R gets the blower operating - otherwise it's just a paperweight. Mostly just rain tomorrow, predicting an accumulation a bit over an inch. It will be helpful.

I go through some days planning to finish projects or fix things, and seem to have entered that kind phase. I've worked on several projects around the house lately. On Wednesday I'll have some answers about work I may end up doing here (speeding up the Internet reception to the computer). I have to redo some garden areas, and in the process work on several things that are in the garage and the greenhouse.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 23 Jan 23 - 10:21 PM

Dupont:

There may be "scents" that are non-toxic. I only use Tide Free and Clear. It may not be the best environmentally but I do not have to deal with a stench - in fact, I would give anything that smelled at all to someone capable and willing to accept it.

R cooked himself a BF Saturday that stank so that we had to open the doors - at below freezing temps. He did not smell it - NOW I find out he has had almost sense of smell for years! (I've known him for 55!) And mine is hyper-sensitive! It may have had to do with adding the left over tzaziki (?) to his eggs in the frying pan. It was puke-quality stench for me!

Here, the ticks are in the grass. I picked up a couple from walking through tall grass a few years ago. The only ones I have encountered here. But our friends are outdoors much of the time; Jess runs a coop farm/CLSC.

On the homefront: bare essentials - minimal cleaning, plant care, keeping the woodstove going, sometimes even clearing some snow, finally getting some energy back; my back has only just stopped hurting from my pot throwing. I will not do THAT again! We have a fair amount of snow. A neighbour cleared the drive a week or so ago, though we generally manage to get in and out OK. And some has melted and then more arrived and freezing a thawing...! Yesterday, R got stuck and the cross the street neighbour cleared us out very well with his snow blower. There was a conversation about the fact that R has one... He has not succeeded in getting it working! And we may have 10 inches more in the next couple days...

No thoughts of traveling!


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 23 Jan 23 - 11:15 AM

I ended up ordering it for a lot less than the price you found - we could discuss this via back channel - I ended up getting them for about $9.25 each (60 loads). I could mail a couple to you a lot cheaper than they can, apparently. (Since my ex is using this now also I figured I'd let him have a couple of them rather than his also going through the hoop jumping - I normally wouldn't buy this much just all for me.)

This week will be more working off of a checklist of things that have come up or that annually occur. Like putting my file box in order and updating for this year (this is where the most active accounts live - if I had to grab one box of records and flee the house, this would be that large box.) There are several aspects to that. Along with diddly stuff like changing out the battery in my SUV key fob before I get locked out. It seems those batteries go pretty quickly, so I finally put a spare in my handbag and I'll put a couple of spare in the center console as well. (I recently spoke to a poor guy who had locked his running car outside a Burger King restaurant on a quick lunch stop. His fob died and he was overdue returning to work and was trying to pry open a window.)

Decluttering is on that checklist; I have boxes spread all over the place lately so they need to be flattened to recycle or set aside for eBay shipping. And I'm getting close to the stage after various sewing projects in which I can offer a robust bag of "crumbs" - those small pieces of fabric that can be assembled into blocks for crazy quilts - to whatever lucky quilt-maker happens to be a member of our local Freecycle or FB Buy Nothing group.

The den again looks like a forest floor, and I notice a buildup of dog hair around the house in general. Same ol' same ol'.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Charmion
Date: 23 Jan 23 - 10:26 AM

I didn’t look far enough — Earth Breeze is available on Amazon.ca, but only in massive quantity. Three packets of 60 loads’-worth each can be had for a variety of prices ranging from Cdn$114.71 to Cdn$120.00, which is a lot to sink into laundry all at once.

My underwear drawer contains a miasma of Persil whiff. This cannot go on!

If I keep the packets dry, it won’t go bad …


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Charmion
Date: 23 Jan 23 - 10:12 AM

Earth Breeze is apparently unavailable in Canada, Stilly.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 22 Jan 23 - 10:58 PM

In 2021 I made the switch to buying envelopes with sheets of laundry detergent that come in modestly-sized paper envelopes in brown wrapper shipping envelopes and every speck of it is recyclable.

Earth Breeze

The scented variety is so subtle that's what I use most of the time but I also got some unscented that is truly no scent at all. I bought a multi-pack of it in early 2021 and I'm still using them (it was a number of packages sent at once). I just looked, and see I have one envelope of unscented (60 loads) left. I'll be ordering the scented next time because it is incredibly mild but enough that I can tell the laundry has been washed with something. I have a couple of partial bottles of the old regular detergent that I am using up, and these days only use when washing things like rugs or dog beds. Because they're dog beds and can use some scent masking. Except for the fact that I use these for dog beds and rugs I'd donate what is left to the Humane Society.

The Earth Breeze folks are very helpful - if you want to tweak your order you can email or call and they'll take care of it for you. I wanted to compare the two types of detergent but the original order was just one or the other. They swapped out some so I got to try both. (I just placed an order, 1 envelope every three months for $12 plus .99 tax.)


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Charmion
Date: 22 Jan 23 - 10:05 PM

The unscented laundry detergent I used for years disappeared from the supermarket, so I bought another brand.

Alas, it stinks, and apparently has the persistence of skunk juice.

I laundered all my singing masks yesterday. Today I sang way too much — regular eucharist in the morning and the installation of our new rector in the afternoon — and the whole time I had my nose covered with a nice, clean mask that reeks of Persil.

I would ditch the damnable detergent, but that stuff costs the earth these days.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 22 Jan 23 - 09:06 PM

Keb, when you use the entire name it can turn up in an Internet search. We've had a couple of Mudcatters essentially doxing other participants lately. If people don't use their own full names, please don't add it here. (WYSIWYG thought she was being clever by picking up a really unusual name from an obit and dropping the middle initial then using it as a character in the Mudcat Tavern adventures, or something along those lines. Imagine our chagrin when the family of that late professor did a search and found her prancing around Mudcat as a make-believe character.)

Yesterday I finished a handmade gift for a friend; it has taken a while to complete because it involved finding a pattern, printing it the right size, transferring to fabric, then doing a lot of close work to turn under the edges and finally stitch it onto a larger piece. A one-of-a-kind apron for a friend who originally sent some aprons that he wasn't able to use for printing. I sew on them then send them on. Into the mail tomorrow.

I'm still making masks, because I have friends who (like me) are still wearing them, and their collections need refreshing. I have three cut out this evening to work on later.

I have a busy week coming up, with volunteer activities and feeding a friend's cats. Just because one is retired doesn't mean life slows down.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: keberoxu
Date: 22 Jan 23 - 06:29 PM

Monsieur Senoufou must have returned by now.
Is he still out of a job, Senoufou?


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 22 Jan 23 - 10:00 AM

I concur with Dorothy about the building materials in Charmion's soon-to-be-updated bathroom. Use healthier materials where possible, even simple stuff like paint, where the off-gas as it dries can be strong for a while. The low-smell paint should become standard. And for everything else, just collecting dust as they work is a help.

Another healthy week ahead, when cat sitting trips will mean I get to the gym more often because I'll already be half-way there. I hope also for a good gardening opportunity in this upcoming week, when we have a day with a 100% chance of rain. If it rains on Tuesday then Friday when it warms will still be moist enough to dig out weeds along the edge of the garden and put down a thick layer of mulch. I happened to see and track down today a photo of a garden that shows this - it happens to be Meghan Markle's garden in California, but don't worry about that - just look at the planks around the raised beds and the heavy mulch path between. Over the years I've wanted to have something like that here. Why do I think I can finally achieve that now? It took digging out the whole side bed last fall in time for the heat pump installation to realize I could actually achieve that (the bed beside the house now is all mulch.) It means digging things out deeply and keeping new weeds down with a strong vinegar spray. Putting in the work to dig it out then walking on the mulch so it weaves together and helps keep out the weeds.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Senoufou
Date: 21 Jan 23 - 03:12 AM

We have Lyme disease here in Norfolk UK, due to the large population of deer which carry the ticks. Many of our village dog-owners have had to remove ticks from their pooches. Rather worrying, because Lyme disease can have lasting symptoms which are difficult to treat.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 20 Jan 23 - 10:18 PM

Wow, Dorothy. That last paragraph describes a tough time. And there are ticks in the woods here; I put the expensive tick collars on the dogs for that reason, and I don't walk in the woods when the trees are in leaf.

I hope R is able to sell those properties one of these days. Lowering the price is not the favorite approach but usually works. Just to get rid of them, at this point. Think of the relief at having them off of his hands.

I've also tracked down a few friends over Facebook and Googling names in communities. I have mentally planned a "dream dinner" going back decades, that would be to have all of these people come in from different corners of the US and even the World, to meet and see if there is more in common than just being my friend. I would hope so. And all of you would be there - I'd love to meet this group in person.

On another subject, I've just sent a friend information about how to get access to the Word files she has created via her previous work software but apparently can't reach since she retired late last month. Clearly she hasn't figured out the system. I still use the software from the university where I retired four years ago, but since last year I also pay for Microsoft storage space, and it has the perk of MS Office on the side. $70 a year isn't bad for a Terabyte of storage for all of my photos from my phone. It's cheaper than paying for Dropbox ($120 a year). Dropbox offers 3T for their price, but I don't need that much space. I don't know if anyone else in our group uses their phones for work and other photos, but it is nice to have a backup.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 20 Jan 23 - 06:25 PM

Dupont:

Have gone back to read the last couple weeks. Wonder where I have been! I had to find where I left off and see what folks have been thinking/doing.

Charmion: PLEASE be sure your builder uses non-toxic materials and keeps you safe!!!

SRS: Dogs are great but… Well do you know it! Just one notch down from our children - or half a notch! I have had a bunch in my life. Each one a member of the family; each loss a heartache. But worth it in any case. Now I have two stuffies - no walking, no fur to clean up, no sweet kisses… I gave the last two away to good homes when I left Whidbey. I miss having one but the mere thought of walking a dog on icy Quebec/Ontario roads…! Also, the thought of leaving one behind; I had been adopting Senior dogs for about 15 years so they would not outlive me.

Friends: Mine are scattered across NA, many so scattered I have no idea where. Going through the archives, I found a postcard from 1984! Found him on line and on FB and PMed him. Delighted to find he is still writing, taken up art and involved in Plowshares! My first playmate just turned 90, in Hanover, NH, where my father and I took him for his first year at Dartmouth - all those years ago! He helped develop the Appalachian Trail. My newest dear friend - songwriter/poet/musician - has me thinking, contemplating, a uniquely spiritual connectedness. A gift.

That darned house! R says he is selling it; it is "for sale”. So are a number of other buildings he and bro own. Nothing ever seems to move forward. Once in a while I ask… At least I don’t have to go there and see the mess made of the yard I planted with care: Clematis. Hardy hibiscus, day Lillies… GONE! And I have started over again - with less energy. HE says he moved everything out (not all the furniture) but I feel some things are missing - but cannot bear to go there.

Just got to Mrzzy’s “Ethnic pile”!!! That sounds interesting! But prob not what I would think - like the folk dance skirt which our leader once referred to as a bedspread -“How many of you had a bedspread like that?!!” I love it! One of the things I rehomed last spring in PA was a dress we bought from an Indian booth in Old Montreal in 1970. The friend we stayed with in PA loved it!

Senoufou’s massive TV reminds me of a wonderful article my DIL wrote, “When the Black Satan Came to Our House”. She had never had a TV until my son moved in to her life!

UH OH! I am dangerously … Just smelled something …??? OH yeah!! I put ribs in oven for a long slow heat. Not sure how long or what. Using fresh ones instead of frozen ready to heat and eat… I hope this works. At least it smells enough that I shan’t forget them…. Hopefully!… They look good but I have no idea when I put them in or how much longer they need. Guess I could have sought advice… They are not burning.!! yet! ...

Caught up! Busy folks! I found enough energy to throw some pots a week or so ago. YAY!!! 8 bowls from 10 kilos of clay!!! The next morning, I barely made it out of bed. A hot bath helped but it still was a few days before I could trim 3; the other 5 are still on hold.

My goal had been to go back to Beaver this past Monday. HO!!! HO!!! I was still walking with difficulty and the pots were not ready! And now it is snowing and snowing.... Beautiful all day today! The bridge from Montreal was SLOW at 10 pm last night! Not sure if R will make it home tonight! I am thinking the trip will wait until February - after the First Friday music.

We visited friends!!!!! Last Sat we celebrated my BD (86), which R had totally forgotten! When I pointed this out to him, "What would You like to do!" The roads were not too bad so we drove down to southern QC to Chez Alain, a small neighbourhood restaurant with good food and a great staff; the kind of place you can chat with the folks at the next table, which we did! I hoped some friend might be there, but not.

Then we went to see Joe and Jessie and Theo (10). My ginger plants?? "Oh, they need LOTS of heat and light. Just keep them damp until warm weather." So I've moved them to the upstairs South window above a rad. Spring will be here ....

Theo played Ragtime on the keyboard, between playing with a neighbour and eating fresh chicken soup. They raise the chickens, grow the ginger for the tea, and the nuts - "here, try these." Theo, "home" schooled, is fluent in French and English (parents are one of each), a friend is teaching him Russian and he has picked up some Spanish from the Latins in the area. Joe and Theo are going to Colombia this summer to work on a building project. Last year they helped build something for an Inuit group north of the Arctic Circle, and learned some Inuit. This is home schooling! And he beat R at chess!

Both parents near died of Lyme disease a few years ago, due to lack of knowledgeable healthcare. Joe passed out in the ER waiting for care. (He was dying.) Jess (about 40) had a stroke, and a pocket of blood in her brain was giving her seizures - amongst others she would hear recorded music when there was NO music playing. She is still recovering from a 6 hour brain operation. I mention this to underline the need to pay heed to the ticks and to insisting on adequate health care. I had no idea the effects could be this dreadful.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Charmion
Date: 20 Jan 23 - 05:23 PM

What cork they don’t put in the necks of wine bottles ends up in Birkenstocks and kitchen flooring, Stilly. I’m drinking my over-age 7% Moscato right now, and it’s delicious. It has a screw cap, a technology whose time has come.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 20 Jan 23 - 03:20 PM

The speed test available from various sites shows that the speed is considerably higher than the 100mbs rated on the existing line, but changing out the line to the computer to the higher grade may make some small difference. And if it does, I may run new line to a couple of other rooms as well. If I ever plan to sell the house the odd mix of wiring in my hall closet now might be daunting. If I cleaned it up and speeded it up, that would be helpful to all. The new battery is in the UPS and is charging for a while before I plug anything into it again.

Two boxes ready to ship later today, and one other I'd like to send, but probably not till tomorrow. This is a bonafide declutter, ceramic pieces I kept from my Dad's house that are going to another family member who has a little and would like some more.

Harking back to earlier in the week's wine topics, I found a nice inexpensive Spanish Grenache at Costco, it even has a twist top. Bottlers are finally catching on that screw tops aren't repulsive to wine drinkers. At least, not to this wine drinker. Is the cork industry suffering? Are cork oaks prospering more now that they might be left in peace?


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 19 Jan 23 - 05:54 PM

When I worked out at Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty we heard that a lot from people - they had never been to the islands but they had out of town company who wanted to visit.

I have had an "a-ha!" moment - I'm paying for all of this fancy speed from Spectrum but running Cat5 cable in the house. It's time to update the line to the computer, to start with, and it happens Spectrum wanted an appointment next week to address some service issue. I'll ask if it's CAT7 from the point on the house to the modem, and if not, have them replace it. And I'll then use the existing cable to pull some Cat7 to serve the computer. And replace the cable from the wall to the computer. I can always think of complicated or expensive renovations to do. Good thing most of the lines are in already, I can use the existing ones to pull the new ones through and not have to spend a lot of time in the attic. It requires new jacks also.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Donuel
Date: 19 Jan 23 - 04:52 PM

If it wasn't for visiting friends or family we wouldn't see museumland the same as new Yorkers don't go to the Statue of Liberty on their own.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 19 Jan 23 - 03:14 PM

With the weather relatively warm these days I'm going to make a run to the lumber store and get pickets and supports for another fence panel, and bring home a couple of 2" thick boards in treated lumber to continue the work of reinforcing the sides of raised beds. While the weeds and grass are dead I might have a good shot at digging up those areas and putting down a thick layer of mulch beside the beds.

The replacement UPS battery was delivered quickly and this afternoon I'll work on that battery backup and, in the same closet, run a CAT-5 cable that is already wired to my office and change out the ends to use for data instead of a phone line. The newest lines to support blazing fast Internet are CAT-6 that go up to 1000 whatever, but I don't have that service. Though my service is faster than 100 that the line is rated for now. Hmmm. Maybe I should think about pulling some new cable one of these days.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 18 Jan 23 - 08:59 PM

I have unsubscribed a regional newspaper that I used to get because it was tied into some contract work I do; since they severed that tie last year I've left it in place, but I don't read it often. The unsubscribe routine is typical: if you want to cancel a subscription you have to call and they connect you to the sales department who talk you into a lower rate, etc. I wasn't interested so cut to the chase: "I know this is the sales department and I don't want to negotiate a price, I want to unsubscribe." So he set it up to conclude after this month's payment ends - but he did give me a helpful tip: Subscribe to various email newsletters now and I'll be able to read this stuff after the subscription ends. I did that today and built in a filter in my email to send it all to one folder. I need to now subscribe to the newspaper in the city where I live. (I used to get a physical paper every day, who knows, maybe I'll be back to that for a while.)

Each year when I call to unsubscribe from SiriusXM I know the routine - it's the sales folks, and they'll offer me an extension of the introductory offer. I listen to SiriusXM a lot more than I read this local newspaper, so I go with that $7 a month offer. I offer this up only as a tip for everyone else - there is usually a less expensive price to be found if you are willing to beard the sales staff.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 18 Jan 23 - 05:33 PM

I'm impressed that you two 1) read the labels (beyond the basics of brand, variety, and % alcohol) and 2) keep them long enough to worry about their going bad. The only one here that I think might be old is the marsala I bought for cooking because I forget it's there and usually put in a dollop of whatever is handy when I'm cooking (I do pay attention to red or white before adding, but otherwise, it all works pretty well for cooking).

This afternoon I've finished dragging the last summer's okra plants from next to the driveway back to toss over the back fence. This is to make the back look less inviting—it isn't a public path even if it looked like it.

I've also started on a project for the front yard, the disassembly of a really old rusty wheelbarrow. I'll put the barrow part on a stack of concrete blocks, fill it with potting soil, and plant something in it. This afternoon I assessed what else needs to be done. With a couple of wrenches I'll be able to hold the bolts in place and screw off the rusted nuts. The carriage underneath needs to be removed before it will sit properly in place. Two nuts and bolts down today.

I hauled out my Dad's old crock pot and set it up with a batch of beets; ever since I burned a batch in the pressure cooker I've been gun shy about cooking that way again, as fast as it is. It took ages to clean out the pressure cooker, but the crock pot bowl is removable and easily washed.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Charmion
Date: 18 Jan 23 - 04:28 PM

Six dozen bottles are still collecting spiderwebs down below, Steve. Plenty for everyone. Come to think of it …

One of those bottles is a 2018 Moscati at only 7 percent abv. I’ll pop that in the fridge.


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Subject: RE: DECLUTTER * Health/Home Ecologic-Innovation *2023
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 18 Jan 23 - 01:47 PM

I've always found that wine can last a lot longer than the back labels sometimes suggest. I found a four-year-old bottle of Prosecco (i.e., I bought it four years ago) last weekend that had accidentally been overlooked and it was lovely. At only 11% it should have been well off, and the label said to drink it within a year of purchase. Never give up!


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